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AU Update

Electrolux Announces Major Gift to College of Engineering


During a visit from South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster to Electrolux’s newly expanded refrigeration factory in Anderson, S.C., the company announced a $300,000 gift to the Anderson University College of Engineering.

“We were delighted to host Governor McMaster and show him the $250 million investment we have made in Anderson to expand and modernize our factory,” said Nolan Pike, head of Electrolux North America. “It was also a big honor to announce our $300,000 gift to Anderson University. Our expansion is advancing our employees’ manufacturing skills, and we want to be the cornerstone of support as the university develops their new engineering program.”

Anderson University last year announced the launch of its new College of Engineering that will offer programs in electrical, computer and mechanical engineering beginning with the admission of a pilot class in fall semester in 2021.


AU Sees Major Rise in Online Program Rankings for 2021


Anderson University experienced major gains in its online program rankings, further solidifying its place among some of the best online programs in the country, according to the U.S. News & World Report Best Online Programs rankings for 2021.

U.S. News & World Report provided high marks for Anderson University’s online bachelor; graduate business administration and organizational leadership; graduate education;
and graduate nursing programs.

The U.S. News & World Report Best Online Programs 2021 rankings for Anderson include:

  • Online Master of Business Administration (MBA) Pro- grams: #2 in South Carolina; #1 among private institutions in South Carolina; #1 in Upstate South Carolina; #139 nationally (rising 40 spots since 2020.)
  • Online Master of Organizational Leadership (MOL) Programs: #2 in South Carolina; #1 in Upstate South Carolina; #91 nationally (rising 41 spots since 2020.)
  • Online Graduate Education Programs: #3 in South Carolina; #1 among private institutions in South Carolina; #91 nationally (rising 29 spots since 2020.)
  • Online Graduate Nursing Programs: #3 in South Carolina; #1 among private institutions in South Carolina; #1 in Upstate South Carolina; #68 nationally.
  • Online Bachelor Programs: #5 in South Carolina; #2 among private institutions in South Carolina; #1 in Upstate South Carolina; #122 nationally.


A Day Sets Record for Giving in 2021


Anderson University is pleased to announce that A Day 2021 had another record year.

Generous alumni, volunteer boards, students, parents and friends stepped up giving, resulting in $318,608, representing 1,035 gifts from 900 donors—a 10 percent increase in total dollars and a 64 percent increase in donors, compared to last year’s A Day campaign.

Taking place annually, A Day is a 24-hour campaign in support of student scholarships, as well as campus programs and improvements at Anderson University. Causes benefiting from this year’s A Day encompass the areas of Academic Achievement, Athletic Endeavors, Campus Enhancements, Ministry Opportunities, a Senior Class Gift and Student Scholarships. This year’s A Day took place April 8, 2021.

“On behalf of Anderson University, I want to thank our alumni, volunteer boards, faculty, staff, students and university friends for supporting the promise and potential of the University and our deserving students,” said Wayne Landrith, senior vice president for development and presidential affairs. “These gifts will strengthen our campus community for years to come. Long Live Anderson!”


Anderson University Ranked Among Best Work Places in South Carolina


Anderson University was ranked the No. 5 South Carolina Top Work Place in the Large Employer category and also won the award for Best Work Life Balance award in the Large Employer category.

In selecting Anderson University for these honors, Greenville Business Magazine cited positive feedback that employees submitted in a survey. This is the first time that Anderson University has participated in this survey, conducted by independent research company Energage, which surveys more than 22 million employees nationwide, in partnership with Integrated Media Publishing, the publisher of Greenville Business Magazine.

“One of the most satisfying and exciting things about being named a Top Workplace in South Carolina is the recognition is based 100 percent on input and feedback from our faculty and staff on their experience working at Anderson University,” said Director of Human Resources Amy Porpilia. Favorable comments included flexible schedules, understanding managers and a focus on efficiency.


Anderson University Acquires Bearwood Property in Part through Generous Gift


Anderson University announced that it has acquired the prominent Highway 81 property known as the Bearwood Ambulatory Surgery Center. The acquisition comprises the building and almost four acres made possible through a substantial partial gift from Bearwood owners, Dr. Terry Holdredge and his wife, Susan Holdredge, of Anderson, S.C.

The property will be used in support of the University’s College of Health Professions, as well as new programs
in the health professions to be developed in the future. Anderson University’s campus facilities already include state-of-the-art human dissection and medical simulation laboratories. The addition of the operating room environment within the Bearwood Center will enhance Anderson students’ experience further.

In addition, the building will be redesigned to include classrooms, labs and faculty offices.


Creative Writing Graduate Receives SC Novel Prize


An Anderson University Creative Writing graduate’s manuscript recently won statewide recognition and landed her a publishing deal.

The South Carolina Arts Commission, Hub City Press, the College of Charleston, the South Carolina State Library and South Carolina Humanities awarded Maris Lawyer the 2020 S.C. Novel Prize for The Blue Line Down. Her written work, two years in the making, is now a published novel.

In addition to a publication contract from Hub City Press, 2,000 copies of Lawyer’s book are to be distributed to every public library branch in South Carolina. Lawyer also gets invited to personally do book signings across the state.


Rev. Mayson Easterling Named Vice President for Church Engagement


Engaging churches in the mission of Anderson University and helping it develop the next generation of young Christian leaders is the mission of Rev. Eugene Mayson Easterling III, who joined the University as its vice president for church engagement. A native of Columbia, South Carolina and member of Pebble Creek Baptist Church in Taylors, South Carolina, Rev. Easterling has served in numerous leadership capacities throughout the region.

“Anderson was blessed to have Dr. Bob Cline in this role for almost two decades until his recent retirement,” said Anderson University President Evans P. Whitaker, Ph.D. “Dr. Cline made heretofore unparalleled contributions in campus ministry and church relations to AU. God continues to bless us by calling Rev. Easterling to continue to serve South Carolina Baptists at Anderson.”


Dr. Kyle Small Named Director of Anderson University Center for Leadership and Organizations


Dr. Kyle Small is the new director of the Anderson University Center for Leadership and Organizations.

Dr. Small comes to Anderson University with extensive experience in higher education and pastoral ministry, most recently at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Mich., where he has served as professor of church leadership, dean of formation for ministry and student services and associate academic dean. He is an ordained pastor, originally in the Evangelical Covenant Church and currently in the Reformed Church in America.


The South Carolina School of the Arts Professor Christopher Hansen to Conduct at Carnegie Hall


In 2022, Dr. Christopher Hansen of the South Carolina School of the Arts at Anderson University will step onto a stage where for nearly 130 years many of the world’s greatest musicians have stood, beginning with Pyotr Tchaikovsky on opening night May 5, 1891.

Hansen will be guest conductor of the New England Symphonic Ensemble and world-class soloists, plus an invitational choir comprised of singers from across the nation, including a select group of Anderson University musicians for a performance of Ola Gjeilo’s “Dark Night of the Soul” and “Luminous Night of the Soul.” The performance will take place June 25, 2022 at New York City’s fabled Carnegie Hall, in the Stern Auditorium and on the Perelman Stage.

Four separate regional rehearsals are being planned across the east coast, and Hansen hopes to include many singers from Anderson University and the South Carolina Upstate. Additionally, all three of Anderson University’s choirs plan to perform “Dark Night of the Soul” and “Luminous Night of the Soul” in Henderson Auditorium of the Rainey Fine Arts Center in March 2022.


Education Professor Receives Teaching Excellence Award


T. Hunter Strickland, Ph.D., assistant professor of Literacy Education in the Anderson University College of Education, is the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities 2021 Excellence In Teaching award winner for Anderson University.

Dr. Strickland received a Ph.D. in Language and Literacy Education with a focus on English Education from the University of Georgia. He also earned master’s and bachelor’s degrees in English Education, both from the University of Georgia. His studies focused on young adult literature methods and courses in secondary English teacher education programs across the United States.

Strickland joined the Anderson University College of Education faculty in 2020. His teaching at AU focuses on PreK-12th grade literacy, including elementary literacy, secondary content area literacy, and English education. Through his understanding of young adult literature pedagogy, Strickland believes that the best literacy teachers of any grade level are teachers who foster their own identities as readers and writers.


Anderson University to Offer New Doctorate of Education in Leadership and Learning (EdD)


Anderson University is launching a new Doctor of Education in Leadership and Learning (EdD) degree program designed to prepare working professionals to lead, teach, and consult in the public and private sectors.

“Across many years, the College of Education has established a strong reputation of excellence in teacher preparation,” said Dr. Mark Butler, dean of the Anderson University College of Education. “We are motivated and delighted to build upon that foundation as we launch our Doctorate of Education, which will focus on equipping people to do the important work of leadership across the many facets of education. We are particularly excited to be able to offer this program utilizing an embedded dissertation model, which we believe will serve students well and set them up for success with a clear path to their doctoral degree.”


Dean Butler to serve on ACRES Board


Dr. Mark Butler, dean of the Anderson University College of Education, will serve as president of the board of directors of the American Council on Rural Special Education (ACRES) for 2021-22.

Butler first became involved with ACRES when he was a doctoral student at the University of Kentucky. In 2015, he was elected as a board-member-at-large. Butler served a three- year term on the board and also served ACRES as conference program chair and secretary and this past year as president-elect.

ACRES is about identifying and seeking solutions for disparities between rural and urban areas when it comes to students with disabilities having access to services.

Two Anderson University special education faculty members have also made multiple presentations at ACRES annual conferences: Dr. Cindy Baughan, associate professor and associate dean of the College of Education; and Dr. Joanna Stegall, associate professor-special education. Baughan also served as a board-member-at-large for the ACRES organization.